Networking – Is it worth it? At the Bedford Expo – Yes it was!

I am writing this blog after a really busy day of writing a proposal for an evaluation project.  I really hope that Nic and I are successful in that tender as it is an exciting project in an interesting city.  In today’s tendering climate through we have to recognise that others will be busy working equally hard in developing their ideas and bids and the race to win will be competitive.

I made the decision after 2 hours of hard tender writing to head up to the Bedford Expo for an hour to see who I could meet and talk to.  I put on my best suit and lippy and went off to network!

The event was held at the Athletics Stadium and was really well attended with about 60 exhibitors and lots of people looking around.

Regarding our clients work, I touched base with Caron from the FSB, Beverley from Central Bedfordshire Council with whom I am doing some work on the hospitality skills project as well as the Bedford Jobcentreplus team with whom I discussed sector based work academies and the impact of Center Parcs opening.

From an Inspiring Partnerships business perspective, I talked to accountants who explained about some of our choices in setting up a new business, website designers and a company selling customer relationship management systems.  I caught up with the Bedfordshire Business Women and I also spoke to the University of Bedfordshire who explained that I will need a refresher for my PRINCE 2 Practioner qualification next year!

The brokerage was just great – I bumped into a neighbour promoting her family building business and connected her with Caron who is looking for a garage conversion – business in action!

Finally I had a chat over coffee about the economic development of market towns and the role of website and communications in their revitalisation, which was fascinating.  My coffee drinker and I concluded that it is always worth going to these events because you never know who you might meet and how that conversation might develop!  No pressure then!

It was then back to the laptop to finish draft 1 of the proposal – refreshed from some Bedford networking!